Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew


Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew

If you leave home, is your heart left behind? Darya Ivanova is looking forward to September. She has looked after her little sister, Nika, since she was a baby. Now Nika is starting school. Maybe Darya can find a job with her own tidy desk. Perhaps even a boyfriend. But when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Darya's life plans are fractured. Stalled. She is afraid. What if she never knows real love? What if she never finds somewhere she belongs? If only she could get to Moscow. There, Darya could escape. There, she could become someone else ...'Magnificent' Independent on The Big Lie


Mayhew's most ambitious book to date The Sunday Telegraph (Living) This is a more ambitious book than Mayhew's previous novels... Chekhov for the terror age -- Emily Bearn The Daily Telegraph (Review) Where The Big Lie had you calling for revolution, Mother Tongue leaves you at lot more introspective, asking questions of how to define identity, home, and grief. Mayhew is a brilliant author, and I can't wait to see what comes next Ruth Lily Writes It's a beautiful story, about a world many of us will hopefully never come to know, but a venture all us have to go through, told in almost lyrical tones, that will leave you with a vice gripping your stomach, caring for a girl in a world very similar, but in many ways, very different, to your own Something Like Lydia Although it's classed as a young adult book, it's very much a universal story, dealing with love, identity and loss. You must read it Berkhamstead Living It's heartbreaking and affirming all at the same time, agonising and engaging, and a cracking good read. Muddy Stilettos Mother Tongue is a book that leaves you thinking about it long after you've finished reading it Newbooks Magazine Filled with references to Russian literature, culture and folklore, Mother Tongue is an evocative and troubling read, with a thought-provoking afterword about Mayhew's scruples in tackling a subject as tragic as Beslan in fiction Financial Times (Life and Arts) Mother Tongue is ultimately about grief, hope and love. It's about how on earth you survive when the worst happens, about how you can possibly find hope when humanity has displayed its most evil and terrible nature. It's about not being defined by the awful things that can happen, and about finding yourself amidst the debris of life. And it's a story that stays with you long after you finish reading -- Victoria Dilly Reading Zone As always her writing is beautiful, and the characters intricately drawn so you're really pulled into Darya's world and all the problems that come with it. And as always, although it's classed as a young adult book, it's very much a universal story, dealing with love, identity and loss. You must read it Berkhamsted Living,

About the Author

Julie Mayhew

Julie Mayhew writes plays for radio and the stage. Her short stories are published in the UK and the US, and she is working on a second novel. Julie grew up in Peterborough, studied Journalism at Bournemouth University and trained as an actress at Drama Studio London. She still acts (a bit), mostly for BBC Radio 4. Home is now Hertfordshire, where she lives with her husband and two young sons. Julie Mayhew was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award in 2014 for her debut novel, RED INK. Her second novel, the critically acclaimed THE BIG LIE, was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for Peters Book of the Year and Shropshire Teenage Book of the Year.

Photo credit: Chris Gloag

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 16


Julie Mayhew
More books by Julie Mayhew

Author's Website


Publication date

25th August 2016



Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

Publisher's Website

Publisher's Blog

You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

Lovereading 4 schools